By Mckay Jenkins
Within the iciness of 1913, excessive within the Canadian Arctic, Catholic clergymen set out on a deadly project to arrive a gaggle of Eskimos and convert them. Upon attaining their vacation spot, the clergymen have been murdered. Over the subsequent 3 years, one of many Arctic’s so much tragic tales grew to become considered one of North America’s strangest and such a lot memorable police investigations and trials. A near-perfect parable of overdue colonialism, in addition to a wealthy exploration of the diversities among ecu Christianity and Eskimo mysticism, Bloody Falls of the Coppermine possesses the depth of actual crime and the romance of desert experience.
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Additional resources for Bloody Falls of the Coppermine: Madness and Murder in the Arctic Barren Lands
Fifty years earlier, Father Petitot, one of the few missionaries to make it to the coast, had apparently lost his mind. In the early twentieth century, you could count the number of Arctic expeditions on a couple of hands. Yet the reports that had trickled back to the living rooms in Toronto, New York, London, and Paris revealed the place to be as intriguing, in its way, as Africa. This was a place where shamans could turn themselves into wolves. Where polar bears could be seen swimming five miles out in the open ocean.
What minor disputes, what petty irritations had led to anger so unyielding that death seemed the only escape? Perhaps the alternative—suffering in silence until spring, then hiking the hundred miles back to the nearest trading post, and from there home—seemed impossibly trying. Eskimos, who had faced such conditions since time immemorial, had a term for this malady: perlerorneq, an extreme winter depression that brought on symptoms of psychosis. ” Under its spell, “the victim tears fitfully at his clothing.
They were not Indians; they were Eskimos who had followed the caribou inland from Coronation Gulf, some 150 miles to the northeast. Hornby had been so excited by his discovery that he had written a letter to the only other permanent European resident of the Barren Lands: the priest in charge of the Mission of Saint-Thérèse. “We have met a party of Eskimos who come every year,” Hornby’s letter said. “The Eskimos come at the end of August and leave when the first snow falls. ” The letter then sounded a somber note.
Bloody Falls of the Coppermine: Madness and Murder in the Arctic Barren Lands by Mckay Jenkins